walmart man

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Woman crushed in rush at DVD sale — Attention Wal-Mart shoppers!

A US store chain has apologised to a woman knocked unconscious as shoppers rushed for a sale of DVD players.

Patricia VanLester was knocked to the ground in the frenzied dash for a $29 DVD player at a Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Orange City, Florida.

The 41-year-old had been first in the queue when the post-Thanksgiving sale opened at 6am local time on Friday.

“She got pushed down, and they walked over her like a herd of elephants,” said her sister, Linda Ellzey.

Paramedics called to the store found VanLester unconscious on top of a DVD player, surrounded by shoppers seemingly oblivious to her…

All over a cheap DVD player.



  1. Tim says:

    Interesting story, but it’s from last year. I’m predicting only four DVD-related shopping deaths this holiday season.

  2. fred says:

    I presume that you noticed that story was from 2003 …..

  3. Dennis Grinberg says:

    This happened a year ago and was likely staged — the woman had a history of filing claims against stores (especially Wal-Marts).

  4. Wesley McGee says:

    Which happened last year.
    Let’s hope we’ve become smarter since then

  5. Tenaya says:

    Check out Best Buy on Friday for that same DVD Player at, wait for it, $19.95.

    They all should have waited.

  6. Anonymously says:

    I suppose Walmart doesn’t have the financial means to have one employee stand there and hand out DVD players to people in line. Better just to rope them off and then let them bum rush the display at the proper time.

    Of course, this is the first time a group of people have ever done such a thing, so how could Walmart have predicted their reaction …

  7. T.C. Moore says:

    The DVD player is probably (has to be) made in China. Like those APEX TVs at Frys that cost less than, um, a set of Ginsu steak knives. Why aren’t you in an outrage yet, John?

    First in a line of disposable electronics. There goes the retailers’ add-on warranty business. Actually, I can see the stampede buying a $29.99 DVD, then buying a $29.99 warranty to protect their investment.

  8. Mike Voice says:

    Actually, I can see the stampede buying a $29.99 DVD, then buying a $29.99 warranty to protect their investment.

    LOL

    With the money the big chains make off of the warranty “extensions” – I would agree that the last thing they want is disposable electronics.

    Screwy thing is the chains already have to convince their customers that they are buying crap – so as to sell them the “extended service plan”.

    I bought a M$ optical wireless mouse at Best Buy, and the cashier was very frustrated that I wouldn’t buy the $4 ESP – since it was cheap, and she had seen “a lot” of mice returned for exchange.

    I felt like saying “So, everything you sell has such a high defect rate that I would be an idiot not to take out an insurance policy on anything I buy here?”.

    But, with my wife working retail, I understand that the employees are being ordered to emphasize the money-makers – and can get in trouble if a “secret shopper” reports they aren’t spouting the company line. 🙁

  9. K B says:

    “I bought a M$ optical wireless mouse at Best Buy, and the cashier was very frustrated that I wouldnt buy the $4 ESP – since it was cheap, and she had seen a lot of mice returned for exchange.”

    Mike, it would have been fitting to have said, “Oh really? Gee, thanks for telling me, I don’t want it if the return rate is that high,” and walked out. 🙂

    Best Buy’s treatment of customers is well documented and has been reported for years, but here’s yet another recent link by a consumer advocate who maybe had not gotten the news…
    http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/2004/11/09.html
    A google search of previous reports on Best Buy is worth the trouble. Like I say, it stretches back years….

  10. Ontario says:

    Well, now it’s 2008 (four years after the post, five years after the incident), and sadly we’re not any wiser. Today (November 28, 2008) a Wal-Mart employee was killed as crowds rushed into the store. I don’t blame Wal-Mart, as much as I blame us as consumers for demanding these types of holiday blowouts. Distressing.


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